A trolly comment that crops up pretty much any time the difficulty of losing weight, or impediments to eating healthy, or fat acceptance as a whole is discussed–“But you’re just making excuses!” To which my most coherent response is usually “Thbbbbbbbbbbbbpt!” (that is, a big old raspberry)
Sure, I could explain and give evidence and cite studies and provide counter-examples, but they’re never going to be good enough. If someone is sincerely curious about my individual situation and how I ended up the weight I am without stuffing my face with donuts at every conceivable opportunity, maybe I’ll share. But not only are trolls not worth my–or anybody’s–time, I think trying to explain is conceding and doing ourselves a disservice.
To me, an “excuse” is an explanation for not doing something you’re obligated and expected to do. The note from home explaining that you were too busy puking your guts out to come to school, that’s an excuse. Because you’re supposed to show up.
I don’t need an excuse for not dieting. I looked at my available options and made the decision, as a grown-up, that dieting was a bad choice for me.
I don’t need an excuse if I don’t exercise on a given day, or if I eat a cookie, because I’m not obligated to meet someone else’s unreasonable standard. I’m not even obligated to defend my view of the standard as unreasonable.
I don’t have excuses for being fat, I just am. The days I exercise, I don’t need an excuse for not running instead of walking, or not going three miles instead of one, or not getting up to a higher speed on the bike. The days I decide I don’t feel like it, I also don’t need an excuse. As the person who lives in my body, I’m the one who gets to decide how to meet its needs.
Every day, people make decisions. They weigh the pros and cons and they do what works for them at the time. Other people are entitled to their opinions on those decisions, but they’re not entitled to expect anyone to actually *care* about those opinions. You’re entitled to your opinion; I’m entitled to ignore it. Just as you’re entitled to ignore my opinion about your life and your decisions.
When you try to defend your life and your choices, you’re ceding the other person authority that they don’t really have. You’re implicitly saying that they do get to tell you what to do. There might be times when explaining your reasons is useful, but I think it’s important not to let jerks and fat-haters set the tone by trying to prove that our reasons and choices are valid when we’re accused us of “making excuses.” The answer to that accusation is, “I don’t answer to you.” It should probably be phrased more politely than that to family members and friends than to random buttheads who troll FA blogs, but the point is the same: This is my life, not yours, and I have to choose how to live it.